When thinking of the hidden dangers our pets face when enjoying their backyard we consider the things like getting lost, hurt by insects, or eating a poisonous plant. We even worry about chemicals that we have applied, but never really consider the dangers of the ones that we did not apply.
A few days ago my sister let Happy out back to enjoy a few minutes running around in our fenced in backyard. A couple of moments latter he was animatedly rolling around in the grass so she called him in. The first thing he did was rush over to where I was relaxing and jumped up on me and ugh, what a smell! My stomach was flip flopping as my nose sought to do the hundred yard dash from the repulsive smell of some foreign chemical that had drenched his coat.
To the relief of my nose, four baths latter he was finally smelling better. But the arm that I had been using to clean Happy was covered in small white dots, and for the next few days after the strange smell, neither Happy nor I were feeling very well. But what was the cause of the strange odor? Was it done purposely or an accident? Could it have been an odd smelling skunk? The only thing that we knew was that our pet and a corner of our yard had a noticeable stench. We could not help but worry since the odor had a strong odor of chemicals and because of my allergies and sensitivities we had to stop putting anything in our yard unless absolutely necessary.
A few days latter we received our answer when my Father noticed a sign in neighbors yard. It was from the lawn service that had recently taken care of our neighbors yard. Probably just before we, not knowing that they had been there, let our dog out to enjoy the freedom of his fenced in backyard.
And this is where a hidden danger lies. When the lawn service comes to take care of a yard it rings the bell of the house it is servicing to let them know that they need to keep their pets and children inside for the next few hours. But unless you happen to look out your window, you might never realize that you are letting your pet out into a potentially disruptive or harmful environment.
When we let our dog out to enjoy his backyard, a yard surrounded by a solid six foot tall fence, we had no clue that he was in danger from a chemical treatment from another yard contaminating his yard. But it did. And this was calm breezeless day, not the normal mild continuous breeze that we enjoy.
So word of warning, the next time you see a lawn service or pest control working on your neighbors lawn, think twice about letting your pets out for the next few hours. Because even if you have a fence it is possible that some of that lawn care product can make its way onto your yard and onto your helpless pet.